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Nancy Wiersma/What’s not to like about Swiss chard?

Published 4:30pm Monday, November 26, 2012

Man, oh man, would Paula Deen ever be proud of me for the Thanksgiving feast I serve my family.

I use real butter, sugar and whipping cream.

Through all the madness of extra housecleaning, pulling together the list of needed foods, buying sale items and cooking, I did manage to steal a quick moment, and just a moment, to think about wrapping up my gardening chores.

In my kitchen garden, the Swiss chard (Bright Lights) is still very “colorful” and in good shape, considering the frosts and cold weather we have had.

So, I didn’t pull them up just yet.

As I stood reflecting on the sad planter, it sure was beautiful earlier this year.

Brimming with a red pepper plant in the center, then next came the Swiss chard, an herb tucked in here and there as fillers and on the edges.

Last, but not least, came the dwarf marigolds.

What pizzazz they added to my potted vegetable gardens.

Swiss chard can be valued in the flower border as well.

Next year, I plan on buying more of these beautiful Swiss chard (or leaf chard) plants, which came in shades of red, orange, white, yellow and pink. When picked and cooked, they were very yummy as well.

What’s not to like about the Swiss chard? They are not native to Switzerland. But they are full of great taste and nutritional value.

Colorful leaves double as an ornamental, with low maintenance and a high disease resistance.

Just be sure when harvesting the leafy wands you do not harm the center of the plant as this is where your next leaves come from.

A veritable powerhouse of nutrition, harboring the daily requirement in their lives of vitamin A, K and C and magnesium.

And did I mention all the fiber we all need, also?

I could get into all the chemistry of phytochemicals, phytonutrients, carotenoids, beta-carotenes, anthocyanins, betacyanins, betaxanthins, removing of free radicals and a whole lot of other healthful jargon that these lovely vegetables contain.

 

Nope, maybe not today. But maybe tomorrow…

•••

“If Elvis Presley had eaten some green vegetables he’d still be alive.”

— Ian Drury (writer)

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